New Build Project of the Year

Airedale All Electric ICU and Inpatient Building

Darwin Group has designed and built the first known all electric inpatient volumetric modular building for AGH Solutions Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. AGH Solutions was created in 2017 and is responsible for delivering Estates, Facilities, and Procurement Services for the Trust and other NHS organisations.

Airedale General Hospital was constructed over 50 years ago from a material called RAAC, which had an original design life of 30 years. The material is now showing significant signs of old age and the nature of the material, including the ways it was manufactured and constructed, is a key topic in the engineering industry.

The project nominated is for the development of a 3500m² ICU and 30-bed ward which is the first known all electric inpatient unit in the NHS. This is delivering a pioneering project with excellent sustainability credentials working towards the NHS Net Zero Carbon targets. With a tight timeline of only 12 months to procure, design and build a 3500m² new intensive care unit and decant ward, AGH Solutions appointed Darwin Group Ltd via direct award following the issue of budget proposals with full design development straight into contract.

The contract was signed at the end of May 2021 and work commenced on site in August 2021, the next-generation volumetric modular building was in place for Christmas and is expected to be handed over at the end of May 2022.

Darwin Group provided a full design and build turnkey service, including ground clearance and civils works in preparation for the modules arriving. In total over 9400 tonnes of excavated materials were taken away, with a total of 362 Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) piles varying from 300 – 400mm diameter to depths of 12 – 15m installed. 126 next-generation volumetric modules were built at Darwin Groups’ factory in Shropshire and installed over 2 weeks (14 days).

The operation required a 24-hour shift working and close liaison with Yorkshire police and the council to limit the impact on the surrounding roads, bridges and neighbours. Internal partitions were installed over 10 working days, all over boarded with 12 – 18mm plywood and Fireline face plasterboard for additional resilience. This all electric inpatient building ensures heating and hot water is provided from low carbon renewable sources including 80 Solar PV panels which provide zero carbon energy to the 3 air source heat pumps.

This scheme is further accredited with REGO certification (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) which provides transparency to the trust in terms of the how electricity has been sourced from renewable generation. With a total Design and Build cost of just over £4,500/m² for an ICU/ward, this is considered exceptional value for money for a building of this nature.

With the very ambitious programme to deliver against, it has attracted widespread interest from NHSEI looking to improve the HTMs and HBNs to reflect this new direction in building design, as well the New Hospital Programme looking to evaluate if this type of construction could be a cost-effective solution.

Bevan Intermediate Care Unit

The new state-of-the-art Bevan Unit at Salford is located on Stott Lane, Salford – adjacent to Salford Royal Hospital and provides immediate Intermediate & Integrated care services to hospital patients ‘stepping-down’ from the Hospital environment.

The new Unit accommodates up to 60 patients and has been designed as a low-rise development over two floors, responding to the local context and to emulate the feeling of a residential setting. Patients have access to comfortable, engaging shared spaces at both levels, to encourage social interaction and independence, whilst providing functional areas for dining, rehabilitation, and physiotherapy.

The interior design focuses on the communal areas to encourage patients to leave their bedrooms / bay areas. This is linked to the underlying ethos of promoting care within a bespoke facility, to enable patients to rehabilitate quickly and safely, ensuring they are fully ready to return home, or into the community and prevent a ‘bounce-back’ into the Acute Hospital environment.

The new facility also benefits from a Woodland Garden setting, complimented with an external terrace, raised planting beds and Potting Shed to support and enthuse patients to become more mobile and take light exercise, all geared towards promoting rehabilitation and therapy, to aid recovery.

The Bevan Unit achieved a BREEAM Rating of Very Good and as such has many design features which support the use of low energy technologies, including high efficiency energy boilers, photo-voltaic solar arrays, enhanced insulation envelope qualities and highly efficient LED lighting throughout with occupancy sensor switching controls.

The new Intermediate Care Unit has been designed from the outset to deliver enhanced patient wellbeing, patient recovery and rehabilitation following acute intervention at Salford Royal Hospital. Increased use of En-Suite Single Bedrooms, provision of Bariatric patient facilities, use of biophilic design, access to ADL & Rehab Gym facilities are all designed to help deliver better patient recovery outcomes. A lot of emphasis was given towards the need to create an environment which would not only provide the clinical basis to support patient recovery but would also provide an interior feel which was a step removed from that of a typical acute ward / clinical environment.

The use of natural materials such as timber linked with considered external planting and enhanced materiality has helped achieve this. Externally, the building envelope was developed to respond sympathetically to the site context. The fenestration design with enhanced brickwork details such as framed corbeling to the large format windows and interspersion of natural timber cladding has helped realise an exterior building design which is more responsive to a facility within a community setting and not atypical of an acute hospital site building.

This was a very clear direction from day one, that the patients entering this new Unit, sub-consciously felt as though they were taking the next step of their rehabilitation and recovery and not entering another acute hospital building

Heatherwood Hospital

Client: Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

PSCP: Kier Construction

The vision for Heatherwood Hospital was to provide a world-class new facility that will offer planned non-emergency care to patients in Berkshire and beyond.

The Trust’s strategy was double the number of patients to 168,000 over the next decade through the design of a modern contemporary ‘one stop’ shop for facility. The 11,500m2 building includes 6 state-of-the-art operating theatres, outpatient and diagnostic facilities for orthopaedics, cardiology, radiology, lithotripsy, physiotherapy, and orthodontics.

It was designed BDP to place a timely new emphasis on both patient and staff mental and physical wellbeing. It makes the most of its woodland setting, with views from patient bedrooms.

The design was based on the co-location of integrated and complementary departments, enabling highly-efficient throughput of patients.

Through the use of digital technology and flexible outpatient spaces, it will offer a one-stop shop for urology patients, reducing the number of visits to the site for patients.

Sustainability has been fundamental to the scheme, with renewable energy from a solar farm covering a large section of the hospital’s roof, and a robust sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) installed under the car park.

The scheme also includes a new 4,000m2 administrative wing and GP hub.

The project maintained programme through the Covid-19 pandemic through careful planning and the development of contingencies that enables our workforce to carry on working while complying with social distancing requirements.

Northampton General Hospital Intensive Treatment Facility / Catfoss Group Manufacturing & NGH Estates Team / Offsite Constructed Modular Building Solution

A new ITU facility was desperately needed by Northampton General Hospital to replace the existing facilities which had served the hospital for some 50 years and were housed in the original part of the estate.

The ITU location had poor natural daylight and cramped spacing in rooms that had been adopted over the years as ITU space rather than being purpose built and was therefore not ideally suited to a modern ITU department. What has been delivered by Catfoss working extremely closely with the estates team, clinicians and an array of specialist sub-contractors is a bespoke design that has been tailored to meet the demands of a modern ITU with significant input from the clinical teams from inception to completion of the project.

This has resulted in a market / sector leading facility opening at the Trust that now contains the following designed for purpose, large, naturally lit, accessible HTM / HBN compliant accommodation:
• 8no. level 1 ward beds
• 11no. single ICU beds
• 5no. ICU isolation beds
• Purpose built facilities for relative’s overnight stays
• Multiple Nurse/ Staff bases placed exactly where they are required
• Staff welfare
• Dirty & Clean Utilities
• Staff offices and training facilities During a recent BBC News interview the estates team, clinicians and former patients of the old Northampton ITU have hailed this new facility as a breakthrough in the provision of specialist care to severely ill patients at the hospital.

During a recent inspection of the ITU the Minister of Health also passed glowing comments for the scheme, and it was stated ‘This new build ITU is a real ‘cherry on the cake’ for Northampton General Hospital.

The impressive standard of the newly adopted facility and the speed / method of its delivery is a prime example of the success of government backed use of methods of construction for provision of any building scheme including high specification applications such as the ITU can benefit the NHS.

The clear benefits are:
• Delivery of first-class facilities in reduced timeframes (up to 50% programme saving)
• Minimal disruption to site operations during delivery
• Reduced risk of weather-related programme delays with a factory built superstructure In the delivery of this scheme, the desire to move towards a carbon neutral future has been a key design criteria with the following properties at the core of the building:
• Excellent thermal properties with low air permeability
• Lower embodied carbon due to selection of materials and prefabrication resulting in less wastage
• Windows with excellent thermal properties, acoustics, and light transmission
• Low energy lighting and LED luminaires
• Split metering of electrical lighting, power & mechanical services allowing targeting & monitoring
• Electrical energy supplemented by roof mounted Solar Photovoltaic (PV) array’s
• VRV heating / cooling systems with a coefficient performance of above 4
• Conversion to electric heat pumps to lower carbon emissions; this will have increased future impact as the grid de-carbonises and renewable supplies increase
• Factory manufactured buildings with stringent quality controls
• Reduced carbon footprint through lower traffic movements for delivery of the scheme

Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria

It’s a seismic change. Cancer is difficult; this building gives people more confidence. Cancer is daunting, and anyone affected may feel vulnerable and afraid. Cancer care environments should alleviate this fear, providing a place of care and comfort that radiates calm competence and instils optimism. A place without stress or worry, that’s easy to access and navigate, with a warm welcome, and an uplifting environment for staff, patients, and visitors alike.

The new NCCC delivers this in spades, inspiring confidence to people at a time of uncertainty: “When I walked into here I thought, you know what? They can really do something for me here” The NCCC was a collaboration between two NHS Trusts – Newcastle and Cumbria – in response to a decline in cancer services at Cumberland Infirmary where ageing equipment, concerns over the Estate and a lack of consultant oncologists were all impacting the availability of treatments. Closure would mean extensive travel to alternative facilities – a round trip of 120+ miles. Working closely with the team from both Trusts, the design team unravelled what staff needed and wanted from their new building. Coming from outdated cramped facilities with services fragmented across ageing accommodation, they knew what they didn’t want and had a long wish list of how their new facility should function, look and feel.

There was great excitement about the development and a team-wide ambition to deliver the very best. Non-clinical, welcoming, light, relaxed, spacious, easy to navigate, all services under one roof, space for staff, quiet areas for difficult conversations and a choice of spaces for different patient needs, a view out, uplifting artwork and colour. “Patients feel that they have the very best environment.” The new building sits on the footprint of a demolished 1970s eyesore concrete tower block, unoccupied for some years.

Constrained by existing buildings, the site was small in relation to the brief’s requirements for the new centre:
• Chemotherapy day unit with 15 treatment chairs and 4 single side rooms
• Two linear accelerator (LINAC) radiotherapy machines
• CT scanner suite
• Consultation and examination rooms
• Reception, waiting areas and café
• Multipurpose rooms for complementary therapies and patient support
• Meeting rooms and offices
• Mould room and workshops The design team used space intelligently, fulfilling the whole list of staff requirements within a relatively small building, yet creating a feeling of openness and space.

The nature of services provided here make it a complex building: highly serviced and with heavily protected ‘bunkers’ housing radiation equipment. Vast quantities of plant and equipment are housed at roof top and ground level, easily accessed for maintenance. A dedicated energy centre, linked via a bridge connection is located to allow future expansion.

The team have skilfully created a robust and effective design: meeting enormous technical operational demands but simultaneously creating a well-functioning environment that flows smoothly and calmly for clinicians and patients, and feels decidedly unintimidating. “It’s a bright, energised building. A striking piece of architecture that stands out. It’s light and airy and a pleasure to be in.”

Red Kite View CAMHS Unit

Red Kite View is the new £20m in-patient service serving the young people of West Yorkshire. The service expanded from a small and limited 8-bed unit in an adapted building to a purpose-built facility with 22 en-suite bedrooms.

The need for the new unit was particularly acute when the project commenced but has become even more urgent considering the mental health crisis that has hit young people particularly hard in the wake of Covid.

The project is part of the NHS’ Transforming Care Agenda to address a lack of CAMHS beds in Northern England. A dramatic benefit will be that it will bring young people in out of area placements back closer to home. The unit includes 16 general adolescent beds and 6 PICU beds for young people with severe and complex mental health difficulties, including eating disorders, and provides a comprehensive recovery focused treatment and education provision. It draws upon UK and international best practice, including lessons learnt from other CAMHS units. It is one of the first of a new generation of hospitals in the UK that will be able to operate with net zero carbon as the national grid de-carbonises through the use of air-source heat pumps and delivers a BREEAM excellent rating.

Service users were at the heart of the process, through co-production and engagement throughout the project. We listened to the those with lived experience of mental health services which has influenced both the building and the way the trust delivers care. Consultees also included Leeds Community Health Youth Board, MindMate, families, and carers.

The trust’s Head of Operations for Children’s and Young People’s Services, Tim Richardson, recalled “Our young people told us they wanted Red Kite View to feel like a home-from-home, or even like a hotel, and not clinical like a hospital. They also told us nature was important in terms of wellbeing and recovery. So we designed it to feel just like that, trying to ‘bring the outside in’ where we could through space, natural light and some quite incredible artwork”. With that brief from young people in mind, the building design is based on the concept of a meandering river running through a forest.

The curving and embracing massing is nestled into a protected woodland. This gives service users views of forest from their bedrooms. The sloping site enhances this further – with all ward accommodation at one level, by the time you reach the Skylark Ward general adolescent ward, you are actually elevated up within the canopy of the surrounding trees. The therapeutic benefit of being immersed in nature in this way has helped form a strong connection with outside the building. The two wards are wrapped around central courtyards, with key spaces opening directly to outside.

For the first time, service users will have direct free access to garden spaces. Services users chose the name ‘Red Kite View’, as the soaring and strong Red Kite symbolises the hopes and dreams of the young people the building will serve.

Ulster Hospital Acute Services Block, Avanti Architects in association with Kennedy FitzGerald Architects

Ulster Hospital’s stunning new Acute Services Block opened to the public in October 2021 and is the last phase of the South Eastern Trust’s current redevelopment Programme. It completes a new central cluster of inpatient and emergency accommodation helping the Trust to transform patient care for the 21st century.

The design was developed in close collaboration with the Client and stakeholder teams including patient groups with a focus on quality and on the creation of a stimulating therapeutic environment that enhances the lives and wellbeing of all building users. The eight-storey building provides 213 inpatient beds within Generic and Specialist Wards, including Acute Surgical and Medical Assessment Beds, Stroke, Renal and Gynaecology. Other facilities include an Emergency Department with Observation and Ambulatory Care Beds, Radiology with Nuclear Medicine, Therapy Areas and a Central Kitchen, Staff Changing, Mortuary and FM. A restaurant and concourse area creates a central space in the heart of the newly configurated hospital complex providing a relaxing transition and refreshment space for visitors and staff.

The wards, located on the upper four floors, benefit from a design which maximizes natural daylight and views to landscape through generous glazing both in the bedrooms and in the connective spaces which helps to create a positive healing space with early integration of art. The design delivers 80% single rooms with en-suite bathrooms, an element which was fundamental to the success of the ward plan. Early engagement with the Client team allowed a full-scale mock-up to be constructed and tested with the end users prior to sign off.

The rooms maximize natural daylight and views through generous glazing both in the external wall and in the ward corridor. Integrated services and fittings at the bed head and in the en-suite and built in storage and wardrobe facilities create a clutter free space that is easier to maintain and clean. The corridor glazing provides good patient observation for staff as well as allowing the patient to have contact with other patients and staff if required. Privacy is provided through powered blinds that can be controlled from the patient’s handset.

This flexibility is beneficial in combating possible feelings of isolation that some patients might experience within single bed wards. The ward plan and innovative single room design has been praised by staff for its role in the successful containment of Covid outbreaks during the pandemic and as a precedent for future hospital developments.

The Acute Services Block is our latest regeneration project to integrate successfully into the wider Ulster hospital infrastructure, improving it through the introduction of modern, well designed, highly sustainable buildings that are cheaper to run and improve patient recovery, contributing to the wellbeing of all building users. “We are immensely proud of the Acute Services Block which delivers state of the art facilities to improve infection control, patient experience, privacy and dignity and will provide our staff with fit for purpose, modern facilities in which to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.” Trust Chief Executive Roisin Coulter